Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Why is my bill higher than normal?

The two most common causes for higher than normal bills are irrigation issues and possible leaks.

The simple fact is that when it gets hot, we typically start watering outdoors more heavily and don’t realize the amount of water we use. Golden State Water Company representatives are happy to give you additional helpful hints on how to reduce your usage. Check out our video and High Bill Investigation Checklist for help identifying water wasters in your home.

High bills are also caused by internal plumbing problems or leaks on your property. You can check for leaks by reading your meter. The needle on the meter turns as you use water. If you turn off all of the water in and around your home and the needle continues to move, chances are you have a leak on the property, such as a leaky toilet or faucet. This will require further investigation and it is the responsibility of the customer since Golden State Water is only required to maintain the water lines up to the meter. Contact us at 1-800-999-4033 if you have any questions about reading your meter.

Why is my water turned off?

Water may be turned off due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • Non-payment or a bad check received for payment. Click here to view the disconnection policy
  • No name on the account
  • Construction or repair of waterlines nearby or at your house
  • Other work being performed in the area

NOTE: If you are a tenant, first check with the resident manager or owner of the apartments to see if they know the reason the water is turned off.

How long will it take to get a refund or an adjustment?

Golden State Water Company works to ensure all billing is accurate and has customer service representatives available to discuss your account 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In the event of account adjustments, Golden State Water will make them directly to your account. If a credit balance occurs, customers have the opportunity to request a refund or the credit balance can be applied towards the bill.

Is a leaking fire hydrant going to affect my bill?

No. Although they share a common water main, fire hydrants are on a separate service line from the water meters. Only a leak on the customer’s side of the meter would be reflected on the bill since the water would have passed through the meter before leaking within the customer’s property. Main leaks, leaks on the service-line before the meter and fire hydrant leaks will not affect the bill.

Why is disinfectant added to the water?

Disinfectants, such as chlorine, stop bacteria from growing in water pipelines. Golden State Water Company uses disinfectants where necessary throughout the water system. If the slight chlorine taste or smell is bothersome, you can chill your water overnight in the refrigerator. The chlorine compounds will dissipate, reducing the smell and taste.

How do I contact Golden State Water Company regarding problems with my drinking water?

If you are experiencing difficulties with your water quality, please call our 24-hour Customer Service Center at 1-800-999-4033 or email us at

What causes white spots on glassware or silverware?

“Hard” water, which contains more minerals than “soft” water, can cause spots on glasses or silverware. Locally, water from imported sources is much harder than our groundwater. It is best to read the owner’s manual for your dishwasher and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding hard water. Some other tips that may reduce spotting include using hotter water, varying the brand and type of rinse agent and detergent, and adding white vinegar to the rinse cycle of the dishwasher.

What if my pipes freeze?

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE DIRECT FLAME OR BOILING WATER. This can cause the pipes to break and open flames can cause fires. Caution: If you have a portion of your house without water due to a frozen pipe, you should advise all household members where the master shut off valve is located. The frozen water pipe may have split and when the temperature moderates, your pipe may start to leak. You should be prepared to shut your water off immediately.

How would I know where the master water supply valve is?

If there’s an emergency, family members should know where the master water supply valve is to protect against water leaks and damage to your home from possible flooding.

These are the most likely locations for your master water supply valve:

  • Where the water supply pipe enters your home (typically, the hose bib at the front of the house)
  • Near your clothes washer hook-up
  • Near your water heaters

Every home, apartment and business should have a master water supply valve. Be sure you’ve found the right one.  Try turning it off and see if all the water faucets in the building are shut off. If they aren’t, try again. Once you’ve found the right valve, mark it with a tag, a bright ribbon or colorful paint. Make it easy to see.

Additionally, you may see valves on or near your meter.  These are not the master water supply valve, but belong to Golden State Water Company, and should never be touched.

Who is responsible for a leak or any issues with my service line?

Golden State Water is responsible for the underground service line that connects their property to the water main. We maintain the pipes up to the water meter, but any leaks or issues beyond the meter are the responsibility of the property owner.

How do I read my bill?

Your monthly (or bimonthly) bill contains a lot of information. To learn how to read your bill, visit our ‘Understanding Your Bill’ guide.

How do I read my tariff sheet?

Tariff sheets outline the CPUC-approved rates and fees for each service area. To learn how to read your tariff sheet, visit our ‘Understanding Your Tariff Sheet’ guide.

Why is my meter being replaced?

Meter replacements will occur if upon inspection a meter has been damaged, cannot be read properly, is leaking or has reached its useful life expectancy. To learn more about meter replacements, visit our Meter Replacement Program FAQ sheet.

Why are ongoing investments in water quality and reliability important?​

To fulfill our commitment to providing high-quality water and reliable service, Golden State Water is proactively investing in water treatment, supply, and water distribution systems to create sustainable, long-term value for our customers. Proactive investments avoid the costly and potentially dangerous effects of deferring maintenance or delaying the replacement of aging infrastructure.

What is the rate-making process?

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulates Golden State Water to ensure reasonable rates reflect the total cost of providing water service, maintaining the infrastructure, and making needed system improvements. Many factors, including rising operation, maintenance and energy costs, regulatory requirements, and taxes impact water rates.

How are your water rates set?

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) sets water rates after an extensive review process by the CPUC Public Advocates Office, considering input from Golden State Water customers and evaluating all the elements that make up the proposed rates.  The outcome of this process will be the lowest possible customer bills that will allow Golden State Water to provide safe and reliable water services while complying with regulatory mandates, meeting environmental goals, and replacing aging infrastructure.